Friday, October 03, 2008

End of an Era or Two

Tomorrow night Ken Shamrock steps into the octagon to face "Youtube" superstar Kimbo Slice. There's a whole lot riding on the outcome of the match, and I'm not just talking about either of the fighters' reputations. In fact, who wins won't impact either of the combatants as much as the number of viewers who tune in to watch the fight who airs for free on CBS.

EliteXC is the company promoting the event. They had a three fight agreement with CBS. This is the third fight of the contract. Although the first card [which featured Kimbo] was the most watched MMA event ever, the second show tanked. So unless the fights tomorrow night bring the viewers to the tube, it's over for EliteXC. Without a network sponsor, word is the company will fold.

Now, there's no doubt that folks will tune in to watch Kimbo fight. He's the one MMA fighter that everyone knows. Kimbo is the big, tough, brawler who knocks people out. The trouble is, in reality, Kimbo is over-rated. He hasn't fought a single ranked fighter. In fact he's yet to fight a fighter who's on the way up. Look at the "name" fighters Kimbo has fought. Ray Mercer was a 46 year old former boxer. Mercer lost in the first round. Tank Abbott was 46 years old, had lost 5 of his last 6 fights and had only fought once a year in that time. Abbott also fell in the first round. Ken Shamrock is 44 years old and has lost 8 of his last 10 fights including his last five. Shamrock's most recent victory was over 4 years ago.

So, who will win?

My guess is Kimbo. If he does, it doesn't really hurt Shamrock's reputation. The guy is already a Hall of Famer. A Kimbo win over Shamrock would also add a bit more luster to Kimbo's figher cred, but mainly with folks who don't really follow MMA. Finally, a Kimbo victory coupled with enough viewers could entice CBS to extend their contract with EliteXC.

If Shamrock wins, he could retire [hopefully] with a win that ended the era of Kimbo Slice. Unfortunately for EliteXC, it would probably also end their era as well.

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